The worst thing in the world is not to be born blind but to be born with sight, yet with no vision”. Helen Kellen depicted the truth that it’s important to have the right attitude in fighting against disabilities.
An inaugural 3-day event titled ‘Students and Disabled Students Development Conference 2017’ (SDADIC’17) brought together 200 participants from 10 Malaysia public universities, with 54 disabled students included.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Higher Education in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs and Alumni (HEMA), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, aiming to shape the alpha generation into competitive future leaders. Various workshops, talks, forum and competition were carried out throughout the event, and booths from different social organisations added value to the conference.
YB Senator Bathmavathi Krishan, who was one of the distinguished speakers, shared her journey as a disabled person when misfortune struck her in her university life, creating resonance with participants. Despite her disability, she did not give up in pursuing her tertiary education in United Kingdom. Her strong determination left a great impact in encouraging others and to strive for the best.
Sabariah binti Salim from Department of Social Welfare Malaysia introduced a Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programme aiming to improve the quality of disabled people’s life through educational training besides providing a convenient environment for disabled people to be independent. Prof Dr Fauziah Ahmad, from Universiti Sains Malaysia also shared her view on creating innovation among students and disabled students.
Participants also seized the chance to understand stress and effective ways to handle it through the ‘Stress Management Forum’ by Ruzimi bin Mohamad and Bathmavathi. The UTM Counselling Unit and Joanna Bassey from Enfinity Academy also held workshops and information for the disabled people on future career path and having self-esteem in job interviews.
Tuan Haji Ahmad Fuad Bin Mohd Nordin from Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia in his speech during the closing ceremony mentioned that he looked forward to any form of activities as a continuation from SDADIC’17. UTM representative, Prof Madya Dr Abdullah Sani Bin Hj Ahmad on the other hand emphasised that disability is never a reason to stop us from keep moving forward, and achieving what we desire.